At first listen, I didn’t think this subject warranted a post. I know that in writing something, I’m falling into a trap placed by Larry Krueger — which is sort of like giving up a hit to Santiago Casilla.
Krueger and his partner, Gary Radnich, want people to talk about their show (even negatively). So I was going to ignore Krueger’s comments about bloggers, but after being asked on Twitter, the BASG comments and in the press box on Monday night whether I was the blogger Krueger was referring to in his rant, I felt I should probably respond.
I flipped the radio on at some point on Monday morning, and Krueger was talking to Radnich about the 49ers game, making fun of the reporters who laughed loudly at Jim Harbaugh’s “$2 steak” remark, and suddenly Krueger launched into a comedy routine about bloggers in the Candlestick Park press box.
I don’t have the exact quotes because KNBR doesn’t podcast non-interview segments from “THE GARY RADNICH SHOW (with larry krueger).” What I remember is Krueger mentioning how many hot dogs some of these bloggers (Don’t forget the disdainful tone!) were eating. Bloggers who write for audiences of only seven readers, according to Krueger.
Krueger talks on the radio for a living, and enough people like to listen to him talk about sports for KNBR to hire him a second time after firing him in 2005. Think about how many people you know who got fired and rehired by the same employer. Right now all I can come up with are Krueger and some New York Yankees managers in the ’70s and ’80s. One of the reasons why Krueger is back with KNBR after making derogatory comments about “brain-dead Caribbean hitters” is he’ll do whatever they ask. Head to Palo Alto and talk for a couple hours about David Shaw and Chase Thomas on a Saturday? Sure. 49ers pre and post the next day? You got it, Mr. Bungeroth.
The 49ers provide free food in the press box. That makes them unique in the Bay Area, at least in terms of the professional teams. Stanford provides an area with salad and sandwich fixings during their football games. College of San Mateo not only has one of the best views in the Bay Area from its press box, they also have sandwiches and cookies free of charge. The Giants and Warriors provide food, but you have to pay. High school football games don’t provide food (or even press boxes, in most cases), but every once in a while you can get something pretty good from the snack shack.
But back to the Niners.
At halftime, if you go up a few stairs to the food area and wait in line for a few minutes, you can set fire to your stomach and arteries with a build-your-own-nachos area, as well as a never-ending supply of chili and hot dogs. Since I knew I’d be at the park for at least three or four more hours, I went up there and put a hot dog on one side of my plate and filled the other half with some nachos.
Good, nourishing food? Not in the slightest. However, after watching everyone in the parking lot and the stands inhale everything in sight, including copious amounts of alcohol, it’s hard to feel too guilty about a hot dog and some nachos. I don’t eat hot dogs really often anyway; besides the occasional trip to In-N-Out Burger I’ve been a pretty healthy eater over the past few years.
I only saw Krueger once in the press box, and not in the food line. I’m pretty sure he has no idea who I am, although he does follow me on Twitter (at least he’s following me as I write this post … we’ll see how long that lasts). I also saw Krueger among the many waiting by the 49ers’ locker room after the game, before Harbaugh spoke. I was not eating a hot dog while we waited for Harbaugh to step to the podium.
So where are these comments coming from? I’m not totally sure, but I have some ideas.
1. Krueger was catering to the most important person in his audience: Radnich. It’s rare that Krueger can talk about something for more than 5-10 seconds before getting interrupted; Krueger may have figured that making fun of two of Radnich’s favorite targets — bloggers and media freeloaders — would make the big guy happy. Interestingly, Radnich mostly stayed above the fray as Krueger ripped small-time bloggers with huge appetites.
2. There were dozens of people in the press box (far more than at your average San Francisco Giants game), so there’s a chance that he saw someone that he knew was a blogger, eating tons of hot dogs. And who knows, perhaps Krueger has access to traffic stats for every Bay Area blog. If so, he surely noticed that posts about the silly things radio hosts say totally kill on BASG.
3. Krueger has a well known obsession with wieners. Remember back in February when the KNBR host made fun of scribes with hot dogs stuck in their back pockets, asking Pablo Sandoval questions about his weight? Henry Schulman surely does.
4. Perhaps Krueger actually ate multiple hot dogs himself, and secretly writes a blog read only by his immediate family while they’re all sitting together on their Consignment Center couch (or maybe while they’re in their new hot tub, having a relaxing soak).
5. After getting absolutely obliterated by Will Leitch back in 2005 (First sentence: “For those who don’t know him, Larry Krueger —who was finally fired last night — is a motormouthed, somewhat annoying late-night talk host on the San Francisco Giants flagship radio station, KNBR-680.”), Krueger may hate bloggers as much or even more than Radnich appears to. It’s one thing to get bashed by Rich Lieberman once or twice a week; Deadspin is a national powerhouse that influences the opinions of sports fans (and radio station program directors, at least the ones who use the internet).
In conclusion, it’s hard to get too upset over comments made by a guy that (1) was previously fired for comments he made that were actually worth worrying about and (2) repeatedly called for the Giants to acquire Jorge Posada during the latter half of 2011. I just wanted to set the record straight — I will not be threatening Joey Chestnut’s reign at Coney Island anytime soon.